Microsoft Ignite 2015 – SOLD OUT!!

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Microsoft Ignite 2015 is SOLD OUT!
Join online May 4-8, 2015 starting at 9 AM CDT at http://ignite.microsoft.com.
The Keynote and several selected sessions will be streamed LIVE from Chicago.
Stay tuned!

For conversations and interactions, join the following channels:

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Microsoft Ignite Countdown Show (Ep. 9) – The One About Schedule Builder on MyIgnite

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The anticipation and wait is over. This week on Episode 9 of the Microsoft Ignite Countdown Show, Rick Claus (@RicksterCDN) and Joey Snow (@JoeySnow) bring us the 2nd most requested show, all about the Schedule Builder. You’ve been asking when you can start building your schedules, well now you can. The Schedule Builder is now LIVE on MyIgnite!

The Schedule Builder is greatly improved from previous years and has some wonderful capabilities, especially with the filtering options that is going to drastically ease the experience of building one’s schedule. Along with the Schedule Builder, a conference multi-tool known as MyIgnite is rolling out, with more features as we get closer to the conference dates of May 4-8. This tool, which is basically a digital hub will help enhance everyone’s experience with Ignite.

What’s MyIgnite you ask?
In it’s current phase of development, the MyIgnite tool will include the Schedule Builder, provide access to sponsor and exhibitor information, and the ability to join the Yammer network. The tool is evolving and the future functionality will include the Attendee Directory, a meeting scheduler, and more. In order to experience the full functionality and take advantages of what the tool offers, you will need to associate your Windows Live ID with your Microsoft Ignite registration. To do so, go to http://ignite.microsoft.com and click on “I’ve already registered”, and follow the steps to associate your Live ID with your registration. This is the first step you need to take before starting with the Schedule Builder.

Microsoft Ignite encourages you to build your schedules and even double and triple book sessions within the same time slots, which will help you when you have a conflict or a change of mind with the sessions you want to attend at the last minute. The advance schedule builds by attendees will provide valuable information to Ignite planners on which sessions are popular, how to schedule them into appropriate rooms, and offer repeat sessions if needed. Since, the room assignments are not currently included in the catalog, I would recommend that you hold off on exporting your schedule to your calendar until rooms have been assigned to the sessions which will happen as we get closer to the conference. This will save you the hassle of exporting and importing into your calendar multiple times. Keep in mind that seating for the Hands-On-Labs (HOL) are on first-come-first-served basis and therefore, they are not guaranteed.

Finally, make sure you update your profile for the Attendee Directory, which you can do through MyIgnite, with pertinent information such as your bio, interests, social tags, photo, and contact information, so you can start networking and connect with others with similar interests, even before you arrive in Chicago for the conference. You will also have a choice to share your schedule with others, as well as opt-in to be listed in the Attendee Directory if you choose to do so.

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Without further delay, watch the video to see Rick and Joey demonstrate how to use the Schedule Builder and how you can update your profile.

Check out this episode on Channel 9 or you can watch it directly below:

If you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions, feel free to ask on the Microsoft Ignite Forums, via Twitter, as well as in the Comments section under the video. The Microsoft Ignite team monitors all questions and will respond as they have the answers or information.

Keep watching for more tips on making the most of your experience at Ignite, and more ways to enjoy Chicago! Register now for Microsoft Ignite, May 4-8, 2015, Chicago.

For conversations and interactions, join the following channels:

Stay tuned for the next episode of the Countdown Show, coming up next Tuesday at 8:00AM PST / 11:00AM EST.

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Show Your Badge – Microsoft Ignite Discounts in Chicago

The good folks at @ChooseChicago have put together a list of participating businesses that offer discounts to Microsoft Ignite attendees. Take advantage of the awesome attractions, delicious dining options, and premier shopping in Chicago! Show your Microsoft Ignite badge at participating venues and win these amazing deals.

Denise Begley of Microsoft Ignite has created a great list off the @MS_Ignite Twitter Handle incase you want to learn more about the places offering these discounts:
Show Your Badge Twitter List.

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Discount list from ChooseChicago located HERE!

I highly recommend that you follow Choose Chicago, which is the official guide for Chicago offering a vast amount of information relating to this awesome city.  The friendly folks at Choose Chicago are quick to answer and offer valuable advice on your visit to Chicago. Follow and check them out.

For conversations and interactions regarding Microsoft Ignite, join the following channels:

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Microsoft Ignite Countdown Show (Ep. 8) – The One About Rocking Out at the HOB, Craft Beers & Bacon, and the Best Hamburger in Chicago

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This week on Episode 8 of the Microsoft Ignite Countdown Show, Rick Claus (@RicksterCDN) and Joey Snow (@JoeySnow) save the best for last in terms of their most favorite hot spots in Chicago.  And they also talk about the early badge pickup which you’ll be able to do at various remote locations, which are several downtown hotels and at Chicago O’Hare airport.

Microsoft Ignite is offering the convenience of early badge pick-up at the locations listed below in the Chicago area. It’s highly recommended that you take this opportunity to pickup your badge early so that you can avoid the lines on Monday morning prior to the keynote. Early badge pick-up will be available on Saturday, May 2 and Sunday, May 3 starting at 10:00AM CST.  Please note: This is offer is for the badge only. All other materials including bags must be picked up at the McCormick Place Conference Center.

  • Chicago O’Hare International Airport (Terminals 1 & 3)
  • Microsoft Retail Store – Shops at North Bridge
  • Palmer House a Hilton Hotel
  • Hyatt Regency Chicago
  • Hotel Chicago Downtown, Autograph Collection
  • MileNorth Hotel
  • Drake Hotel

The best for last hot spots in Chicago:

Paddy Long’s Beer and Bacon Pub:
Rated by Yahoo as one of the Best Irish Pubs in America for St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations. Paddy Long’s features 18 beers on tap and specializes in all kinds of bacon. Beer and bacon tastings are offered weekly and a brunch on Saturday and Sunday. Their other location is called Kaiser Tiger located on the West Loop.

Twitter: @PaddyLongs

Revolution Brewing Company:
A great Chicago BrewPub located in bustling Logan Square neighborhood, produces about 50 different styles of beer every year.  Check out their amazing brew and their yummy food. Great atmosphere, great beers, and great food, not to be missed.
Twitter: @RevBrewChicago

Rockit Bar & Grill:
Voted by People’s Choice Award in 2014 as the best burger in Chicago. Rockit is known for it’s cocktails, bourbons and whiskeys, and a selection of 6 craft beers on tap.  Quieter atmosphere downstairs and a much more livelier setting upstairs with pool tables and lots of TVs.
Twitter: @Rockit

Lagunitas Brewing Company:
An amazing brewery in a massive warehouse offering some fantastic beers. Come check out the brewery where they offer tours on weekdays and enjoy some fresh beers in their tap room.  The catwalk tour of the brewery is awesome.
Twitter: @lagunitasbeer

And finally, what is Ignite Rocks?
It is what was formerly known as the Jam Session at TechEd.  Come check out fellow attendees and speakers show off their musical talents, and feel free to take part if you like to do so. Great time to relax, enjoy some great music, and network with fellow attendees.  Ignite Rocks takes place at the House of Blues on Monday, May 5 from 9:00PM-Midnight.

Also recommend that you follow Choose Chicago, which is the official guide for Chicago offering a vast amount of information relating to this awesome city.  The friendly folks at Choose Chicago are quick to answer and offer valuable advice on your visit to Chicago. Follow and check them out as well.

Check out this episode on Channel 9 or you can watch it directly below:

If you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions, feel free to ask on the Microsoft Ignite Forums, via Twitter, as well as in the Comments section under the video. The Microsoft Ignite team monitors all questions and will respond as they have the answers or information.

Keep watching for more tips on making the most of your experience at Ignite, and more ways to enjoy Chicago! Register now for Microsoft Ignite, May 4-8, 2015, Chicago.

For conversations and interactions, join the following channels:

Stay tuned for the next episode of the Countdown Show, coming up next Tuesday at 8:00AM PST / 11:00AM EST.

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Beep Beep Beep …. Tag You’re It!

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And, so it begins……….

As of 8:00AM EST today, Monday, March 23, 2015, I am now on the on-call pager rotation shared between a team of three Windows SysAdmins, which we will rotate every Monday morning, or whenever a scheduling conflict arises.  I guess this is a life and responsibility of a Senior Systems Administrator.  However, with a busy personal life outside of work which entails lots of travel for family matters and other responsibilities, we’ll see how this works out.  In any case, I’m on-call.

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Ask Harjit Why Microsoft Ignite?

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I’ve been a strong supporter of Microsoft technologies and an influencer on the Microsoft conference scenes, particularly TechEd, and now Microsoft Ignite.  I was invited to join the TechEd Roundtable team in November 2013 for the TechEd conference in Houston, and again in September 2014 for the Microsoft Ignite conference in Chicago. Roundtable members are individually selected based on various criteria, including their tech industry, technical background, influence within the IT Pro communities, and professionalism. Roundtable members have the opportunity to meet and discuss with the conference planning team, provide suggestions, address issues or concerns, receive advance information on upcoming news or implementations, and have a direct channel of communication with the key people in the Microsoft events circle.

This week, I’m honored to be featured by the Microsoft Ignite team on all their social media channels with my take on why one should attend the Ignite conference. Thank you to all on the Microsoft Ignite team.  Cheers!  Here’s the Twitter post by MS_Ignite.

“You can have a very broad experience to try and learn about newer things that you’re interested in or you could focus on the stuff you actually do at work and enhance that.”

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You can connect with me on Twitter (@Hoorge) and Instagram (@Harjit).

For conversations and interactions on Microsoft Ignite, you can join the following channels:

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KB3035131 March 2015 – LogonUI.exe Error

We have discovered an issue with one of the patches from March 2015, KB3035131 against our Windows 8.1 systems in VMware VDI. Upon installation of this patch, Windows 8.1 systems are unusable as they are presented with a LogonUI.exe error on startup as seen below. In order to get the systems in working condition, the only resolution at this point is to revert to a previous snapshot and disable the 3035131 patch from installing on these Windows 8.1 systems.

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There’s not much info on the Internet regarding this particular issue, or at least one that I can find, however there are some mentions of the use of StartIsBack or Classic Shell, but we are not using them. It will be interesting to know if others have encountered a similar experience, what are the known causes, and if there’s a fix to rectify this issue.

 

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Microsoft Ignite Countdown Show (Ep. 7) – The One About Breaking In Shoes Now, Wrigley Field, Navy Pier and Buddy Guy’s Legends

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This week on Episode 7 of the Microsoft Ignite Countdown Show, Rick Claus (@RicksterCDN) and Joey Snow (@JoeySnow) take on more questions from the Microsoft Ignite Forums, and take you on a tour of three classic Chicago hot spots.

First up, the top questions this week from the Microsoft Ignite forums:
Question #1: If you only had time to visit one Chicago destination while at Ignite, what would it be?
Answer: Rick enjoyed the river architecture boat tour, which was covered in Episode 3 of the Countdown Show. Joey offered two of his top choices. If you’re an art lover, then the Art Institute of Chicago is the place to be. You could easily spend the entire day from opening to closing and enjoy every single minute of your visit. If you’re a sports fan, then you must catch a game at Wrigley Field.

Question #2: Do you have tips for first-time attendees?
Answer: It’s highly recommended that you keep watching the Countdown Shows, specifically an upcoming episode which will provide plenty of tips for the first time attendees.

Hot Tip: Rick and Joey offer a great tip for all attendees but especially important for first timers to the conference. “Don’t wear new shoes to the conference… your feet will be killing you.”   You’ll be doing plenty of walking, and believe me, you’ll be doing plenty of walking! If you’re planning on buying new shoes for the conference, buy them now and start breaking them in.

Next up, hot attractions in Chicago:
Check out the virtual tour of the top three hot attractions in this week’s segment listed below.

Buddy Guy’s Legends Chicago:
If you’re in the mood for some Blues while in Chicago, then you must check out Buddy Guy’s Legends. You can catch live shows every single night in this cozy little club jammed packed with some amazing Blues memorabilia. Food selection here is yummy New Orleans style, such as the classics po-boys and catfish. Get your tickets in advance and it’s highly recommended that you plan to arrive at least an hour early to get yourself a good seat. Keep in mind that it’s open seating and therefore, there are no reserved seats available. If you plan to check out a show with some friends, make sure that everyone in your party arrives together, as this club fills up fast.
Twitter: @BuddyGuys

Navy Pier:
Chicago’s historic Navy Pier is not only the number 1 attraction in Chicago but a top destination in the Midwest, drawing approximately 9 million visitors annually. Navy Pier has something for everyone with 50 acres of parks, shops, restaurants, an IMAX Theater, Chicago Children’s Museum, a Ferris wheel, various rides, and much more. It’s a great place to take a stroll on the pier and check out the Chicago skyline, and have something to eat and drink as well.
Twitter: @navypier

Wrigley Field:
Play Ball! Any sports fan knows this iconic home of the Chicago Cubs. 101 years of history and a landmark not to be missed. Get your tickets, catch a game, and have a great time.
Twitter: @Cubs

I highly recommend that you follow Choose Chicago, which is the official guide for Chicago offering a vast amount of information relating to this awesome city.  The friendly folks at Choose Chicago are quick to answer and offer valuable advice on your visit to Chicago.  Follow and check them out as well.

Check out this episode on Channel 9 or you can watch it directly below:

If you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions, feel free to ask on the Microsoft Ignite Forums, via Twitter, as well as in the Comments section under the video. The Microsoft Ignite team monitors all questions and will respond as they have the answers or information.

Keep watching for more tips on making the most of your experience at Ignite, and more ways to enjoy Chicago! Register now for Microsoft Ignite, May 4-8, 2015, Chicago.

For conversations and interactions, join the following channels:

Stay tuned for the next episode of the Countdown Show, coming up next Tuesday at 8:00AM PST / 11:00AM EST.

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Microsoft Ignite Countdown Show (Ep. 6) – The One About The Bag

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One of the most sort after Countdown shows is here and its all about the BAG(s)!  Yup, you heard it right, bags. Not one, not two, not three, but four trim colors.  Each Microsoft Ignite attendee will have a choice of blue, orange, yellow, or green trim colors on ballistic black backpacks. Each bag is identical and comes with a matching water bottle and a removable accessory bag which zips open and can lay flat to allow for easy access. This accessory bag is ideal for cables, adapters, batteries, flash drives, memory cards, and other small items which tend to disappear within a large bag.

In short and sweet, these bags are durable, made of ballistic material, has zippered compartments, pockets, key chain hook, padded backpack straps for comfort, padded back with air channel for support, and completely padded compartments to keep your laptops and tablets protected. Watch the video and see how Rick packs it full with several of his devices including his hefty 17″ laptop. It’s crazy but he demonstrates that it can be done.

So, this week on Episode 6 of the Microsoft Ignite Countdown Show, Rick Claus (@RicksterCDN) and Joey Snow (@JoeySnow) talk all about the bags. Watch the video for complete details of the bags! For the sake of fun, tweet your choice of trim colors with the hashtags #IgniteYellow, #IgniteGreen, #IgniteBlue, or #IgniteOrange.

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Check out this episode on Channel 9 or you can watch it directly below:

If you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions, feel free to ask on the Microsoft Ignite Forums, via Twitter, as well as in the Comments section under the video. The Microsoft Ignite team monitors all questions and will respond as they have the answers or information.

Keep watching for more tips on making the most of your experience at Ignite, and more ways to enjoy Chicago! Register now for Microsoft Ignite, May 4-8, 2015, Chicago.

For conversations and interactions, join the following channels:

Stay tuned for the next episode of the Countdown Show, coming up next Tuesday at 8:00AM PST / 11:00AM EST.

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Microsoft Ignite Countdown Show (Ep. 5) – The One About The Session Catalog Update

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This week on Episode 5 of the Microsoft Ignite Countdown Show, Rick Claus (@RicksterCDN) and Joey Snow (@JoeySnow) shed some light on how to join conversations on social media and on the Ignite Forums, and how you can make the connections with your fellow IT peers and with Ignite Speakers.

They answer some top questions this week from the Microsoft Ignite Forums and below are their responses:

Question #1: How can I meet people from my geographic area or industry?

Answer: First, you can always join the conversation on Twitter using #msignite in your tweets. See what everyone is talking about, make connections, and find like-minded attendees. Even better, get on the Microsoft Ignite Forums! The Forums are open to anyone—you don’t have to be registered to participate. Go to http://channel9.msdn.com/Forums/MicrosoftIgnite to get started. Join existing threads, or start your own. Ask questions, share your opinions, discuss your plans, and connect with peers. It’s a great way to find other attendees from your area or industry and plan time to meet in person at Ignite!

Question #2: How can I learn who’ll be presenting, and get in touch with speakers?

Answer: Check the Session Catalog for new speaker assignments, which have now been added to sessions. Click on the speaker’s name to see their bio, photo, and a list of other sessions they’ll be delivering at Ignite, as well as how to connect with them on Facebook, Twitter, etc. New filters have been added to help you search for sessions by speaker, industry, product, theme… you name it. You’ll also get recommendations of other speakers and sessions to consider adding to your personal session schedule.

Question #3: I’ve already registered. Can I still add a Pre-Day Session?

Answer: Of course! Just go to http://ignite.microsoft.com/register, sign in to your registration record, click on Pre-Day Sessions, Edit, and select the session you would like to attend. There are 17 Pre-Day Sessions to choose from, all are a full-day of focused discussion. Lunch is provided for Pre-Day attendees. Explore the full Pre-Day lineup, and consider adding one to your registration.

Ask your questions on the Microsoft Ignite Forums, via Twitter, or in the Comments section below the video. We’ll get to all questions as we have answers, so keep watching the Countdown Show!

Check out this episode on Channel 9 or you can watch it directly below:

If you have questions, concerns, or suggestions, feel free to ask on the Microsoft Ignite Forums, on Twitter, as well as in the Comments section under the video. They monitor all questions and will respond as they have the answers or information.

Keep watching for more tips on making the most of your experience at Ignite, and more ways to enjoy Chicago! Register now for Microsoft Ignite, May 4-8, 2015, Chicago.

For conversations and interactions, join the following channels:

You can also follow me on Twitter (@Hoorge) and Instagram, and feel free to reach out to me if I can help answer some questions or be of further assistance.  Stay tuned for the next episode of the Countdown Show, coming up next Tuesday at 8:00AM PST / 11:00AM EST.

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